Before and After

Where to eat and drink before and after ACL Fest 2016

Where to eat and drink before and after ACL Fest 2016

Austin City Limits ACL Music Festival sign 2015
We've rounded up the places to go before (and after) the fest. Photo by Nicole Raney

You’ve got your wristband and sunscreen, mapped out which stage to stake out when, plotted where to meet your friends, and charged up the phone. All you need for a perfect ACL Fest weekend is a great breakfast before the gates open and an awesome spot to end the night.

Here are our suggestions for where to stop before and after the fest:


Annie’s Café and Bar 
An Austin classic, this cafe is the reincarnation of Apple Annie’s, a downtown favorite for more than 30 years. There's brunch at 9 am on Saturday and Sunday to give you an early start. Shrimp and grits, migas, omelets, French toast, and more, including freshly baked breads and pastries. Plenty of fuel for dashing from one stage to another and dancing all day.

Jo’s Coffee Downtown
Down a few classic breakfast tacos — two eggs, cheddar cheese, and choice of toppings — or plates such as migas and huevos rancheros. There's plenty of hot, fresh-roasted Stumptown Coffee too.

Magnolia Cafe 
If you hanker for something more traditional, Austinites have been eating breakfast here since 1979. The Lake Austin Boulevard location is conveniently close to the action and serves breakfast 24/7: omelets, migas, tacos, pancakes, and more. It's just the ticket for kicking off the weekend.

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
It’s going to be a long day, so stop here on your way for a pancake flight or breakfast pot pie and — why not? — a Bloody Mary. The menu features creative twists on classic breakfast dishes, as well as a selection of local craft beers and morning cocktails.

Swift’s Attic 
Yes, this place is known for dinner and a bar serving craft beers, wine, and innovative cocktails. But Swift's Attic serves Sunday brunch with inspired menu choices such as Forbidden rice bibimbap (poached egg, kimchee, nori, and pickled salad); turkey hash; and shrimp remoulade. Just what you need to hit the ground running on the final day of the fest.


This bar on the fourth floor of Rainey Street's Hotel Van Zandt overlooks downtown and the lake so you can watch the crowds leave the festival. Open until 1:30 am Friday and Saturday, it serves a variety of specialty cocktails, plus live music performances 365 days a year. Because there’s no such thing as too much live music.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar 
Refuel with the classic burger, fries, and shake — the burger is all-natural Angus beef on a baked-from-scratch bun, the fries are Kennebec hand-cut, and the shake is available in luscious flavors like red velvet cake and Nutella and chocolate pretzel. The SoCo hot spot also has craft beer and a full bar with house-made liqueurs and fresh-squeezed juices, in case you’re not quite ready to call it a night.

House Wine 
Just a few blocks from the festival, House Wine will please your crowd with indoor and outdoor seating and a list of sparkling, white, and red wines. Add cheese plates, desserts, and live music daily, and everyone’s happy as you recap the day.

The Living Room Bar 
The Living Room Bar on the ground floor of the W Austin Hotel includes four rooms, each with its own atmosphere. An in-house libationist and bartender team curate handcrafted cocktails and offer extensive beer and wine choices along with bar bites. This spot is great for people-watching on ACL weekends.

Mean Eyed Cat 
Named for a Johnny Cash tune and replete with Man in Black memorabilia, this bar seems a fitting spot to toast a day of great live music. Draft beers and creative cocktails can be enjoyed inside or on the patio beneath a 300-year-old Texas Live Oak. Stubb’s BBQ is available until 11 pm.